The general account of the work of the six days is contained in the first chapter of Genesis; while in the second is presented, among other things, a more particular narrative of the work of the sixth day in the formation of the first human pair.
Let the reader peruse the history of the creation as a revelation to himself as an inhabitant of the earth. It informs him of the order in which the things narrated would have developed themselves to his view, had he been placed on some projecting rock, the spectator of the events detailed. He must remember this. The Mosaic account is not a revelation to the inhabitants of other orbs remote from the earth of the formation of the boundless universe; but to man, as a constituent of the terrestrial system. This will explain why light is said to have been created four days before the sun, moon, and stars. To an observer on the earth, this was the order of their appearance; and in relation to him a primary creation, though absolutely pre-existent for millions of ages before the Adamic Era.
The duration of the earth's revolutions round the sun previous to the work of the first day is not revealed; but the evidences produced by the strata of our globe show that the period was long continued. There are indeed hints, casually dropped in the Scriptures, which would seem to indicate, that our planet was inhabited by a race of beings anterior to the formation of man. The apostle Peter, speaking of the "false teachers" that would arise among Christians "by reason of whom the way of truth would be evil spoken of," illustrates the certainty of their "damnation" by citing three cases in point; namely, that of certain angels; that of the antediluvian world; and that of Sodom and Gomorrha. Now the earth, we know, was the place of judgment to the contemporaries of Noah and Lot, and seeing that these three are warnings to inhabitants of earth, it is probable, that they are all related to things pertaining to our globe in the
order of their enumeration -- first, judgment upon its pre-Adameral inhabitants; secondly, upon the antediluvian world, which succeeded them; and thirdly, upon Sodom after the flood.
Peter says, that "the Angels," or pre-Adameral inhabitants of the Earth, "sinned;" and Jude, in speaking of the same subject, reveals to us the nature of their transgression. He says, verse 6, "the angels maintained not their original state, but forsook their own habitation." From which it would appear, that they had the ability to leave their dwelling if they pleased; secondly, that they were sometimes employed as messengers to other parts of the universe; this their name (aggeloV, aggelos, one sent) implies: thirdly, that they were forbidden to leave their habitation without special command to do so; and fourthly, that they violated this injunction and left it. Having transgressed the divine law, God would not forgive them; "but casting them down," or driving them back, "He committed them to everlasting chains of intense darkness to be reserved for judgment" (2 Peter 2:4). Hence, it is clear, when they were driven back to their habitation, some further catastrophy befel them by which their committal to darkness was effected. This probably consisted in the total wreck of their abode, and their entire submergence, with all the mammoths of their estate, under the waters of an overwhelming flood. Reduced to this extremity, the earth became "without form and empty; and darkness overspread the deep waters" (Genesis 1:1). Its mountains, hills, valleys, plains, seas, rivers, and fountains of waters, which gave diversity of "form" to the surface of our globe, all disappeared; and it became "void," or empty, no living creatures, angels, quadrupeds, birds, or fishes, being found any more upon it. Fragments, however, of the wreck of this pre-Adameral world have been brought to light by geological research, to the records of which we refer the reader, for a detailed account of its discoveries, with this remark, that its organic remains, coal fields, and strata, belong to the ages before the formation of man, rather than to the era of the creation, or the Noachic flood. This view of the matter will remove a host of difficulties, which have hitherto disturbed the harmony between the conclusions of geologists and the Mosaic account of the physical constitution of our globe.
Geologists have endeavoured to extend the six days into six thousand years. But this, with the Scriptural data we have adduced is quite unnecessary. Instead of six thousand, they can avail themselves of sixty thousand; for the Scriptures reveal no length
of time during which the terrene angels dwelt upon our globe. The six days of Genesis were unquestionably six diurnal revolutions of the earth upon its axis. This is clear from the tenor of the Sabbath law. "Six days shalt thou labour (O Israel) and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Would it be any fit reason that, because the Lord worked six periods of a thousand or more years each, and had ceased about two thousand until the giving of the law, therefore the Israelites were to work six periods of twelve hours, and do no work on a seventh period or day of like duration? Would any Israelite or Gentile, unspoiled by vain philosophy, come to the conclusion of the geologists by reading the sabbath law? We believe not. Six days of ordinary length were ample time for Omnipotence with all the power of the universe at command to re-form the earth, and to place the few animals upon it necessary for the beginning of a new order of things upon the globe.
But what is to become of the evil angels in everlasting chains of darkness, and who shall be their judge? Jude says, they were committed "for the judgment of THE GREAT DAY." He alludes to this great day in his quotation of the prophecy of Enoch, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His Holy Ones (angels of His might, 2 Thess. 1:7) to execute judgment upon all, &c." This coming of the Lord to judgment is termed by Paul "the Day of Christ" -- "A DAY in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ" -- during which the saints, with angels ministering to them, having lived again, will reign with Christ a thousand years on the earth (2 Thess. 2:2, Acts 17:31; Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 11-15). This is the Great Day of judgment, a period of one thousand years, in which Christ and His saints will govern the nations righteously; judge the raised dead in His kingdom according to their works; and award to the rebel angels the recompense awaiting their transgression. "Know ye not," saith Paul, " that we (the saints) shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Cor. 6:3). From these data, then, we conclude that these angels will be judged in the Day of Christ by Jesus and the saints.
In the period between the wreck of the globe as the habitation of the rebel angels and the epoch of the first day, the earth was
as described in Genesis 1:2, "without form and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep," -- a globe of mineral structure, submerged in water, and mantled in impenetrable night. Out of these crude materials, a new habitation was constructed, and adapted to the abode of new races of living creatures. On the first day, light was caused to shine through the darkness, and disclose the face of the waters; on the second, the atmosphere called heaven, was formed, by which the fog was enabled to float in masses above the deep; on the third, the waters were gathered together into seas, and the dry land, called the Earth, appeared. It was then clothed with verdure, and with fruit and forest trees, preparatory to the introduction of herbivorous creatures to inhabit it. On the fourth day, the expanded atmosphere became transparent, and the shining orbs of the universe could be seen from the surface of the earth. Our globe was then placed in such astronomical relation to them as to be subjected by their influences to the vicissitudes of day and night, summer and winter; and that they might serve for signs, and for years. Thus, the sun, moon, and stars which God had made, by giving the earth's axis a certain inclination to the plane of the ecliptic, became diffusive of the most genial influences over the land and sea. It was now a fit and beautiful abode for animals of every kind. The dwelling place was perfected, well aired, and gloriously illuminated by the lights of heaven; food was abundantly provided; and the mansional estate waited only a joyous tenantry to be complete.
This was the work of the fifth and sixth days. On the fifth, fish and water-fowl were produced from the teeming waters; and on the sixth, cattle, reptiles, land-fowl, and the beasts of the earth, came out of "the dust of the ground," male and female, after their several kinds (Gen. 1:20-25; 2:19).
But among all these there was not one fit to exercise dominion over the animal world, or to reflect the divine attributes. Therefore, the Elohim said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the living creatures." So Elohim created man in His image; male and female created He them. Further details concerning the formation of the human pair are given in the second chapter of Genesis, verses 7, 18, 21-25. These passages belong to the work of the sixth day; while that from verse 8 to 14 pertains to the record of the third; and from 15 to 17 is parallel with chapter 1:28-31, which completes the history of the sixth.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them;" and the Jehovah [Yahweh] Elohim, on reviewing the stupendous and glorious creation elaborated by the Spirit, pronounced it "VERY GOOD." Then the Elohim, or "Morning Stars sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7).
OF THE SABBATH DAY AND THE LORD'S DAY.
On the seventh day, which was neither longer nor shorter than the days which preceded it, "God ended His work which he had made;" and because of this notable event, "He blessed and sanctified it." A day is blessed, because of what is or will be imparted to those who are commanded to observe it. The sanctification of the day implies the setting of it apart that it might be kept in some way different from other days. The manner of its original observance may be inferred from the law concerning it when it was enjoined upon the Israelites. To them it was said, "remember the sabbath day to keep it holy." If it be asked, how was it to be kept holy? the answer is, "in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor any one or thing belonging to thee; " and the reason for this total abstinence from work is referred to the Lord's own example in that "He rested the seventh day." The nature of its observance in the ages and generations, and the recompense thereof, is well expressed in the words of Isaiah; -- "if thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath from doing thy pleasure, on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 58:13, 14). In this passage the conditions are stated upon which faithful Israelites might inherit the blessing typified by the rest of the seventh day. They were joyfully to devote themselves, to the way of the Lord. They were not simply to abstain from work, yawning and grumbling over the tediousness of the day, and wishing it were gone, that they might return to their ordinary course of life; but they were to esteem it as a delightful, holy, and honorable day. Their pleasure was to consist in doing what the Lord required, and in talking of "the exceeding great and precious promises" he had made. To do this was "not speaking their own words," but the Lord's words. Such an observance as this, however, of the Sabbath day, implies a faithful mind and a gracious disposition as the result of know-
ing the truth. Neither antediluvian nor postdiluvian could "call the sabbath a delight," who was either ignorant or faithless of the import of the promise "thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob." A man who simply looked at the seventh day as a sabbath in which he was interdicted from pleasures, and conversation agreeable to him, and from the money-making pursuits in which he delighted, would regard the day more as a weekly punishment, than as joyous and honorable. Though he might mechanically abstain from work, he did not keep it so as to be entitled to the blessing which belonged to the observance of the day to the Lord. It was irksome to him, because being faithless he perceived no reward in keeping it; and "without faith it is impossible to please God."
The reward to antediluvian, and postdiluvian patriarchs and Israelites, for a faithful observance, or commemoration of Jehovah's [Yahweh's] rest from His creation-work, was "delight in the Lord, riding upon the high places of the earth, and feeding with the heritage of Jacob." This was neither more nor less than a promise of inheriting the kingdom of God, which is a summary of "the things hoped for and the things unseen," or the subject matter of the faith that pleases God. When that kingdom is established all who are accounted worthy of it will "delight or joy in the Lord;" and occupy "the high places of the earth," ruling over the nations as His associate kings and priests; and share in the "new heavens and earth," in which dwells righteousness, when Jerusalem shall be made a rejoicing, and her people Israel a joy (Matt. 25:23, 34; Rev. 2:26, 27; 3:21; 5:9, 10; 20:4; Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Isaiah 65:17, 8). The knowledge and belief of these things was the powerful and transforming motive which caused Abel, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, &c., to "call the sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, and honorable;" and to observe it as the sons of Belial cannot possibly do. But while this was the motive, even faith, which actuated the sons of God in their keeping holy the seventh day, Jehovah [Yahweh] did not permit the faithless to transgress or desecrate it with impunity. We know not what penalty, if any, was attached to its violation before the flood; but its desecration under the Mosaic constitution was attended with signal and summary vengeance, as will appear from the following testimonies: --
1. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, verily My sabbaths ye shall keep:
for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:12-17).
2. "Remember, O Israel, that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day" (Dent. 5:15).
3. "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day" (Exodus 35:2, 3)
4. "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in a ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, the man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses" (Numb. 15:32-36).
5 . "Thus saith the Lord; take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem: neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. And it shall come to pass if ye diligently hearken unto Me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, to do no work therein: then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in
chariots and upon horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the temple of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched" (Jer. 17:21-27).
6. "Abide ye every man in his tent, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day " (Exodus 16:29).
From these testimonies it is clear that it was unlawful for servants in the families of Israel to light fires, cook dinners, harness horses, drive out families to the synagogues, or priests to the temple to officiate in the service of the Lord. The visiting of families on the sabbath day, the taking of excursions for health or for preaching, and conversing about worldly or family, or any kind of secular affairs, was also illegal, and punishable with death. The law, it will be observed also, had regard to the seventh, and to no other day of the week. It was lawful to do all these things on the first or eighth day (some particular ones however excepted), but not on the seventh. On this day, however, it was "lawful to do good;" but then this good was not arbitrary. Neither the priests nor the people were the judges of the good or evil, but the law only which defined it. "On the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and were blameless;" (Matt. 12:5), for the law enjoined them to offer "two lambs of the first year without spot as the burnt-offering of every sabbath" (Num. 28:9-10). This was a profanation of the seventh-day law, which prohibited "any work " from being done; and had not God commanded it they would have been "guilty of death." It was upon this ground that Jesus was "guiltless;" for he did the work of God on that day in healing the sick as the Father had commanded Him.
"The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath therefore," said Jesus, "the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath day " (Mark 2:27). It was a wise and beneficent institution. It prevented the Israelites from wearing out themselves and their
dependants by incessant toil; and revived in them a weekly remembrance of the law and promises of God. It was, however, only "a SHADOW of things to come," the substance of which is found in the things which pertain to the Anointed One of God. (Col. 2:16-17; and 14). It was a part of "the rudiments of the world" inscribed on "the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us," and which the Lord Jesus "took out of the way, nailing it to His cross." When He lay entombed He rested from His labours, abiding in His place all the seventh day. Having ended His work, He arose on the eight day, "and was refreshed." The shadowy sabbath disappeared before the brightness of the rising of the Sun of righteousness; who, having become the accursed of the law, delivered His brethren from its sentence upon all.
The ordinances of the law of Moses are styled by Paul "the rudiments," or "elements of the world," which, in Galatians, he also terms "weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desired again to be in bondage." They evinced this desire by "observing days, and months, and times, and years (Gal. 4:3, 5, 9, 10), not being satisfied with the things of Christ, but seeking to combine the Mosaic institutions with the gospel. This was Judaizing, and the first step to that awful apostacy by which the world has been cursed for so many ages. When the Mosaic constitution, as "the representation of the knowledge and the truth," had "waxed old" by the manifestation of the substance to a sufficient extent to nullify it, it "vanished away" by being "cast down to the ground" by the Roman power, and with it the law of the seventh day. Even before its abolition, Paul expressed his fear of the Galatians "lest he should have bestowed labour upon them in vain," seeing that they were becoming zealous of the ordinances of the law. They seemed not to understand that the Mosaic economy was only a temporary constitution of things, "added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come;" that when He came, "He redeemed them from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them;" and that therefore they had nothing to fear, nor to hope for from keeping, or transgressing its command. They had got it into their heads that "except they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses, as well as believed and obeyed the gospel of the kingdom, they could not be saved " (Acts 15:1-5). Therefore they "desired to be under the law " and began to busy themselves about "keeping the Sabbath," and doing other works which Moses had enjoined upon Israel. Paul was
very much distressed at this, and describes himself as "travailing in birth again until Christ be formed in them." They had been delivered from "the yoke of bondage" by putting on Christ; but by seeking to renew their connexion with Moses' law, they were selling their birth-right for a mess of pottage. "I say unto you", saith Paul, "that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." A partial observance of the law can do no one any good. If He kept the sabbath in the most approved manner, but neglected the sacrifices, or eat swine's flesh, He was as accursed as a thief or a robber; for to one under the law it saith, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them;" hence even the sinless Jesus was cursed by it, because He was crucified; for it is written, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3, 4, 5:4). What hope then is there for Jew or Gentile of escaping the curse of the law, seeing that from the very nature of things connected with the present state of Jerusalem it is impossible to observe it, save in the few particulars of "meat and drink, or in respect of the sabbath partially," &c. The observance of the seventh day was regulated by the Mosaic law, and the penalties due to its "desecration," or "profanation," are pronounced by it alone; but, it is clear, that law being taken out of the way, or abolished, by Jesus who nailed it to His cross, there remain no more retributions for the non-observance of its appointments; and therefore there is no transgression in working or pleasure taking, or in speaking one's own words on the seventh day.
On the first day of the creation-week God said, "Let there be light, and there was light;" so on the first day of the week "THE TRUE LIGHT" came forth from the darkness of the tomb "like dew from the womb of the morning." This event constituted the day after the sabbath, or eighth day, the day of the Lord's resurrection; and therefore styled by His disciples "THE LORD'S DAY." It is a day to be much remembered by them, because it assures them of their justification "in Him," of their own resurrection to life, and of the certainty of His ruling or "judging the world in righteousness" as Jehovah's [Yahweh's] king, when they also shall reign with Him as kings and priests of God (Rom. 4:25; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:14-20; Acts 17:31; Rev. 5:9-10). This day is
also notable on account of the special interviews which occurred between Jesus and His disciples after His resurrection (John 20:19-26). He ascended to heaven on this day, even the forty-third from His crucifixion; and seven days after, that is the fiftieth, being that Lord's day styled "the day of Pentecost," the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles, and the gospel of the kingdom preached for the first time in His name.
Power being in the hands of their enemies the Christians of the Hebrew nation still continued to observe the seventh day according to the custom. Hence we find the apostles frequenting the synagogues on the sabbath days and reasoning with the people out of the Scriptures (Acts 27:2, 17; 18:4; 19:8). To have done otherwise would have been to create an unnecessary prejudice, and to let slip one of the best opportunities of introducing the gospel to the attention of the Jewish public. They did not forsake the synagogues until they were expelled. While they frequented these, however, on the seventh day, they assembled themselves together with the disciples whose assemblies constituted the churches of the saints and of God. They ordained elders over these societies, and "taught them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus had commanded them" (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42; 14:22-23). In His letter to the Hebrew Christians He exhorts them "not to forsake the assembling of themselves together" (Heb. 10:25). Such an exhortation as this implies a stated time and place of assembly. On what day, then, did the churches of the saints meet to exhort one another so as to provoke to love and to good works? Certainly, not on the seventh day, for then the apostles were in the synagogues. What day then more appropriate than the Lord's day, or first day of the week? Now it cannot be affirmed that the saints were commanded to meet on this day, because there is no testimony to that effect in the New Testament. But, it is beyond dispute, that they did assemble themselves together on the first day of the week, and the most reasonable inference is that they did so in obedience to the instruction of the apostles from whose teaching they derived all their faith and practice, which constituted them the disciples of Jesus.
To keep the first day of the week to the Lord is possible only for the saints. There is no law, except the emperor Constantine's, that commands sinners to keep holy the first, or eighth day, or Sunday as the Gentiles term it. For a sinner to keep this day unto the Lord he must become one of the Lord's people. He
must believe the gospel of the kingdom and name of Christ, and become obedient to it, before any religious service he can offer will be accepted. He must come under law to Christ by putting on Christ before he can keep the Lord's day. Having become a Christian, if he would keep the day to the Lord, he must assemble with a congregation of New Testament saints, and assist in edifying and provoking them to love and good works, in showing forth the death of Jesus, in giving thanks to the Father, in celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and in praising and blessing God. Under the gospel, or " law of liberty," he is subjected to no "yoke of bondage " concerning a sabbath day. It is His delight when an opportunity presents, to celebrate in this way the day of the resurrection. He requires no penal statutes to compel him to a formal and disagreeable self-denial, or "duty;" for it is his meat and drink to do the will of his Father who is in heaven.
The law of Moses was delivered to the Israelites and not to the Gentiles, who were therefore "without the law." "What things soever the law saith, it says to them who are under the law; " consequently the nations were not amenable to it: and though they obtained not the blessings of Mount Gerizim (unless they became faithful Jews by adoption), neither were they obnoxious to the curses of Mount Ebal (Dent. 27:9-26). The faithless Jews and Gentiles are equally aliens from the precepts of Christ and His apostles. What these prescribe is enjoined upon the disciples of Jesus. They only are "under law to Christ." "What have I," says Paul, "to do to judge them that are without? God judgeth them" (1 Cor. 5:12-13). He has caused the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to sinners "for the obedience of faith." When they are judged, it will be for "not obeying the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ " (2 Thess. 1:7-10), and not because they do not "go to church," or do not keep a sabbath instituted by a semi-pagan emperor of the fourth century. The sabbath God requires sinful men to observe is to cease from the works of the flesh, as completely as He rested from the work of creation on the seventh day, that they may enter into the millennial rest that remaineth for the people of God (Heb. 4:9-11).
Men frequently err in their speculations from inattention to the marked distinction which subsists in the Scriptures between those classes of mankind termed "saints" and "sinners." They confound what is said to, or concerning, the one, with what is said in relation to the other. Relatively to the institutions of God the
are as near or afar off as are "citizens" and "foreigners" to the laws and constitution of the United States. "What the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law." This is a principle laid down by Paul concerning the law of Moses, which is equally true of the codes of all nations. "Citizens" are the saints, or separated ones, of the particular code by which they are insulated from all other people; while "foreigners" or "aliens" from their commonwealth are sinners in relation to it; for they live in other countries in total disregard of its institutions, and doing contrary to its laws, and yet are blameless: so that if they were to visit the country of that commonwealth, they would not be punished for their former course, because they were not under law to it. Let them, however, while sojourning there continue their native customs, and they would become guilty and worthy of the punishment made and provided for such offenders. It is a fact, that "God blessed and sanctified," or set apart, "the seventh day;" and doubtless, Adam and his wife rested, or intermitted their horticultural tendance upon that day. Yea, we may go further and say, that it is extremely probable that "the sons of God" before the flood, worshipped God according to "His way" upon that day; but in all the history of that long period, which intervened from the santification of the seventh day to the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16), there is not the least hint of any punishment for breaking the sabbath day. Guiltiness before God cannot therefore be argued against the Gentiles so as to entitle them to death or reprobation, predicated upon the threatenings of the patriarchal code. Whatever the appointment might be, it was no doubt significative of the blessings to be obtained through observing it; not alone, but in connexion with the other matters which made up "the way of God."
As I have shown, observance of the seventh day was obligatory only upon the Israelites so long as the Mosaic code was in force, being "a sign" between God and them. The sabbaths belong to the land and people of Israel, and can be only kept according to the law while they reside in the country. This will appear from the fact that the law requires that "two lambs of the first year without spot" should be offered with other things "as the burnt offering of every sabbath;" an offering which, like all the offerings, &c., must be offered in a temple in Jerusalem where the Lord has placed His name, and not in the dwelling places of Jacob. Israel must therefore be restored to their own country
before even they can keep the sabbath. Then, when "the throne is established in mercy; and He (the Lord Jesus) shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness" (Isaiah 16:5), then I say, "shall the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, come near to Me to minister unto Me, and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God: and they shall hallow My sabbaths" (Ezek. 44:15-24)
But these sabbaths will be no longer celebrated on the seventh day. They will be changed from the seventh to the eighth or first day of the week, which are the same. The "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Ephes. 1:10), popularly styled the Millennium, will be the antitype, or substance, of the Mosaic feast of tabernacles which was "a shadow of things to come." In this type, or pattern, Israel were to rejoice before the Lord for seven days, beginning "on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when they had gathered the fruit of the land." In relation to the first day of the seven, the law says, "it shall be a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." This was what we call Sunday. The statute then continues, "on the eighth day," also Sunday, "shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. " Again, "on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath " (Lev. 23:34-43). Thus, in this "pattern of things in the heavens" the first and eighth days are constituted holy days in which no work was to be done. It also represents the palm-bearing or victorious ingathering of the twelve tribes of Israel from their present dispersion to the land of their fathers, "when the Lord shall set His hand a second time to recover the remnant of His people" (Isaiah 11:11). Three times in four verses does Zechariah style the yearly going up of the Gentiles to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord of Hosts, there, the "keeping of the feast of tabernacles" (Zech. 14:16-19); an event which is consequent upon the destruction of the dominion represented by Nebuchadnezzar's image, and the re-establishment of the kingdom and throne of David. This national confluence of the Gentiles to Jerusalem is characteristic of Messiah's times; and of the true or real festival of tabernacles, when He will "confess to God among the Gentiles, and sing unto His name," and "they shall rejoice with His people," Israel (Rom. 15:9-10). Referring to this time,
the Lord says, "the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and My holy name shall the House of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places, * * * they have even defiled My holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in Mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcasses of their kings, far from Me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever" (Ezek. 43:7-9). This is clearly a prophecy of what shall be hereafter, because the House of Israel still continues to defile God's holy name by their abominations; but when this comes to pass they shall defile it "no more."
After the declaration of these things, Ezekiel is commanded to show them the description of the temple which is destined to be "the house of prayer for all nations," with the ordinances, forms, and laws thereof. The Lord God then declares, "the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it," and when the Levites of the seed of Zadok shall approach unto Him. The "cleansing of the altar," and the consecration of the priests, is then effected by the offerings of seven days. "And when these days are expired it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and SO FORWARD, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, O Israel, saith the Lord" (verse 27). Thus the Lord's day, the day of His resurrection from His seventh day incarceration in the tomb, becomes the sabbath day of the future age which shall be hallowed, by the priests of Israel, and be observed by all nations as a day of holy convocation in which they shall rejoice, and do no manner of servile work at all.
This change of the sabbath from the seventh to the eighth, or first day of the week, is the full development and establishment of the observance of the Lord's day by the disciples of Jesus since the times of the apostles. Constantine, though not a Christian himself, paid homage to the truth so far as to compel the world to respect the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead. Hence, in 328, he ordained that the day should be kept religiously, which a judaizing clergy construed into a sabbatical observance according to the Mosaic law concerning the seventh day. This is the origin of that sabbatarianism which so ludicrously, yet mischievously, illustrates the Blue Laws of Connecticut (by these a woman was forbidden to kiss her child on the sabbath!) the zeal
of the Ag and Plumptres of the House of Commons, and the rhapsodies of the pietists of the passing day. These well-meaning persons, whose zeal outruns their knowledge, seem not to be aware that Christ and His apostles did not promulge a civil and ecclesiastical code for the nations, when they preached the gospel of the kingdom. Their object was not to give them laws and constitutions; but to separate a peculiar people from the nations who should afterwards rule them justly and in the fear of the Lord, when the dispensation of the fulness of times should be introduced (Acts 15:14; 1 Cor. 6:3; 2 Sam. 23:3-4; Titus 2:11 ). To be able to do this, these peculiars were required to be "holy, unblameable, and unreprovable before God" (Col. 1:22, 23; 1 Thess. 2:19 ; 3:13). To this end instructions were delivered to them, that under the divine tuition "they might be renewed in the spirit of their mind; and put on the new man which after God's image, is created in righteousness and true holiness." As for "those without " "who receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, God sent them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thess. 2:10-12) as a punishment. They are left to govern themselves by their own laws until the time arrives for Christ to take away their dominion and assume the sovereignty over them conjointly with "the people of the saints." If they please to impose upon themselves yokes of bondage, binding themselves to keep the first day of the week according to the Mosaic law of the seventh day, they are left at liberty to do so. But for this act of "voluntary humility" they are entitled to no recompense from God, seeing that He has not required it from them. The rewards due for observing a Judaized Lord's day voluntarily inflicted upon themselves; or, the pains and penalties to which they may be entitled for its "profanation," are such, and such only as result from the will and pleasure of the unenlightened lawgivers of the nations. It is a wise regulation to decree a cessation from labour and toil for man and beast during one day in seven; but it betrays egregious misunderstanding of the Scriptures, and singular superstition to proclaim perdition to men's souls in flaming brimstone, if they do not keep it according to the Mosaic law of the seventh day. All I need say in conclusion is, that if it be necessary to keep Sunday as the Jews were required to keep Saturday by the law of Moses, then those who make so much ado about sabbath-breaking are themselves as guilty as those they denounce for the unholy and profane. " He that offendeth in one point is guilty of the whole."
If they do not keep open shop, or perambulate the parks and fields, or take excursions, or go to places of public resort and amusement on the Lord's day -- yet, they light fires in their dwellings and meeting houses, they entertain their friends at comfortable warm dinners, drive to church in splendid equipages, annoy the sick and distract the sober-minded with noisy bells, bury the dead, speak their own words, &c. -- all of which is a violation of the divine law which saith, "thou shalt not do any work, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle;" and "thou shalt not speak thine own words." This would certainly put to silence nearly all the preachers of the day; whose "sermons," when made by themselves, are emphatically their own in thoughts and words without dispute. It is not only ridiculous, but down right pharisaism, the fuss that is made about breaking the sabbath. Let the zealots "first cast the beam out of their own eyes; and then they will see clearly to cast out the mote from the eyes of others." If they would "keep the day to the Lord," let them believe and obey the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus; and then "continue stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42) on the Lord's day; and cease from the works of sinful flesh (Gal. 5:19) every day of the week; and they will doubtless "delight in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob in the kingdom of God," as the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.
Of the things then which have been written under this head this is the sum.
1. The six creation-days were each as long as the seventh, whose duration is defined by the Mosaic law; and consequently the geological notion of their being six several periods of many centuries each, falls to the ground as a mere conceit of infidel philosophy.
2. The Lord God ended His work on the seventh day, "and was refreshed" by the songs of the Morning Stars, and the joyous shouts of the Sons of God.
3. To celebrate His rest He constituted it holy and a day of blessing. Hence it was commemorative of the past, and "a shadow of things to come."
4. The seventh day was observed by Adam and Eve as a day of delight before they became sinners. The immediate cause of their joyousness on the day of rest is not testified. It is certain it was not a burdensome day; for sin had not yet marred their
enjoyments. It was probably because of the gracious interviews granted them by the Lord God on that day; and of the revelations made to them of the things contained in the blessing pronounced upon it when He "blessed and sanctified it."
5. There is no record, or hint, of the existence of a penal statute for not observing the seventh day, from the santification of it till the raining down bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness of Egypt.
6. The observance of the seventh day by absolute rest from every kind of word and pleasure-taking, accompanied by a peculiar sacrifice on the brazen altar of the temple, and spiritual delight in its blessedness, was its Mosaic celebration enjoined upon the Israelites, and their dependants in Palestine, and upon them alone.
7. Its profanation by citizens of the commonwealth of Israel was punishable with death by stoning.
8. Israel was especially commanded to remember the seventh day and keep it as appointed by the law; because God in creating their world brought them out of Egypt, and rested from the work of its creation when He gave them a temporary and typical rest under Joshua in the land of Canaan.
9. For an Israelite to remember the seventh day to keep it holy, spiritually as well as ceremonially, so as to obtain the blessing which it shadowed forth, he must have had an Abrahamic faith (Rom. 4:12, 18-22. Read the whole chapter diligently) in the promised blessing, and have ceased or rested from the works of "sinful flesh."
10. The blessing promised to Israelites, who were Abraham's sons by faith as well as by fleshy descent, for a spiritual observance of the seventh day (and which, until "the handwriting," or Mosaic law was blotted out and nailed to the cross, could not be spiritually observed and ceremonially profaned) was, that they should "delight in the Lord, ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob their father," when the time to fulfil the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, should arrive.
11. The blessing pronounced on a national observance of the seventh day was the uninterrupted continuance of the throne of David, and great national prosperity. Its desecration to be punished by the breaking up of the commonwealth of Israel and desolation of their country.
12. The Mosaic observance of the seventh day was appointed
as "a sign" between God and the twelve tribes of Israel. It was a holy day to them, and to be observed perpetually throughout their generations (Matt. 1:17 -- the forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ. Col. 1:20).
13. It was lawful for Israelites to do good on the seventh day; but they were not permitted to be the judges of the good or evil. This was defined by the law. The priests profaned the sabbath by hard work in slaving and burning the seventh day sacrifices on the altar, yet they were blameless; because this was a good work which the Lord of the sabbath commanded them to do.
14. Having finished the work the Father had given Him to do (John 17:4), on the sixth day of the week, Jesus, while suspended on the accursed tree, cried with a loud voice, "It is finished!" (John 19:28-30). "All things were now accomplished," so that the Mosaic handwriting was blotted out, being nailed with Him to the cross, and taken out of the way as a rule of life. The Lord Jesus "rested from His labours" on the seventh day in the silent tomb, and "His disciples rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). He abode in His place, and did not go out of it until the sabbath was at an end" (Mark 16:1). But, on the eighth day, styled also the first day, God gave Him liberty (Matt. 28:2), He left the tomb, and "was refreshed." Having "spoiled the principalities and the powers" constituted by the handwriting, He made the spoliation manifest, "triumphing over them in Himself (euautw) that is, in His resurrection; thus, for ever delivering men from the bondage of the law, which Peter says, "was a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear" (Acts 15:10). With the abolition of the Mosaic handwriting the obligation to keep the seventh day as a rule of spiritual life was cancelled as a matter of course.
15. The apostles and Christians (Acts 21:20) of the Hebrew nation in Palestine continued a ceremonial observance of the Mosaic festival (verse 24-26) (the annual atonement for sin excepted) and of the seventh day, until the destruction of the commonwealth by the Romans, on the same principle that New Testament Christians among the nations now observe Sunday and the laws; not as a means of justification before God, but as mere national customs for the regulation of society.
16. Hebrew Christians who proposed to blend the law of Moses with that of Jesus as a spiritual rule, or means of justification, and consequently to keep holy the seventh day, were severely reproved by the apostles, who stigmatized it as "Judaiz-
ing" (Ioudaizein) (Gal. 2:14).
17. The Judaizing Christians endeavoured to impose the observance of the law upon the Gentile converts, which would have compelled them to keep holy the seventh day. But the apostles and elders of the Christian community at Jerusalem positively forbade it, and wrote to them, saying "we have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words subverting your souls, saying, 'be circumcised, and keep the law:' to whom we gave no such commandment." On the contrary, "it seems good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that ye obstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well" (Acts 15:24-29).
18. The Lord's day is the first day of the week, or day after the seventh, and therefore sometimes styled the eighth day. It is termed His day, because it is the week-day of His resurrection. Upon this day the disciples of Christ assembled to show forth His death, and to celebrate His resurrection; which, with an enduring rest from the works of "sinful flesh," was all the sabbatizing they practised on the Lord's day.
19. There is no law in the Scriptures requiring the nations to keep the Lord's day in any manner whatever during His absence at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. So long as they continue faithless and disobedient to the gospel of the kingdom, neither nations nor individuals can present an acceptable observance of the day before the Lord; on the principle that "Jehovah [Yahweh] is far from the wicked, whose way and sacrifice are an abomination to the Lord:" (Prov. 15:8, 9 , 26-29) -- and,
20. The Lord's day was judaized by Constantine, the man-child of sin (Rev, 12:2-5), and his clergy. His present representative is the Italian high priest of papal christendom. When his power, and that of his kings is finally destroyed in "the burning flame;" when Israel is engrafted into their own olive again, and the nations are subdued to the glorious sceptre of the King of saints -- then will the Lord's day become the holy sabbath, "blessed and sanctified" of God instead of the shadowy seventh day, which was merely "a sign" of the things which will then have come to pass.
FORMATION OF MAN.
"Out of the ground wast thou taken; for dust thou art."
That "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the
sabbath," is a truth of general application to all the institutions of God. Upon this principle, man was not made for religion, but religion was made for him. If this be true, then it follows that it was adapted to man as God had formed him. Hence, the institutions of religion, if it be of God, will always be found in harmony with his constitution, and not at variance with it. They are devised as a remedy for certain irregularities which have invaded his intellectual and moral nature; by which, phenomena have been superinduced which are destructive of his being. Now the exact adaptation of the Bible religion to the curative indications suggested by the intellectual, moral, and physical infirmities of human nature, which every one who understands it cannot fail to perceive, -- proves that the mind which framed it is divine; and that the religion of the Scriptures, and the constitution of man, are the work of one and the same Creator. God is truly the only wise Physician, whose practice is based upon perfect knowledge; for He alone (and they to whom He hath revealed it) knows "what is in man" (John 2:25). Hence, no incongruities are discoverable in "His way" when His method of cure is understood.
In medicine, a scientific practice is directed, and founded upon a knowledge of the structure of mechanism of the body, the motive power thereof, and of the functions which are manifested by the working of this power on its several parts. The absence of this knowledge in a professional, constitutes empiricism; and is one cause of such vast multitudes "dying," as it is said, "of the doctor." Being ignorant of the motive power of the living creature, they are as unsuccessful in correcting its irregularities, as a watchmaker would be in rectifying a timepiece who was ignorant of the principles and laws by which it was moved. Now this may be taken in illustration of the predicament of others who undertake the "cure of souls." To treat these as "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed," a man should be acquainted with "souls" as God hath formed and constituted them. He should know what "a living soul" is; what its condition in a healthy state; what the peculiar morbid affection under which it languishes; what the nature of the cure indicated; and what the divinely appointed means by which the indications may be infallibly fulfilled. An attempt to "cure souls" without understanding the constitution of man as revealed by Him who created him, is mere theological experimentalism; and as bootless, and more fatally destructive than the empiricism of the most ignorant pretenders to the healing art. What! men undertake to "cure
souls," and not know what a soul is; or to imagine it a something, which it is admitted, cannot be demonstrated by "the testimony of God." This is like pretending to repair a timepiece without knowing what constitutes a watch or clock, or while imagining it to be a musical box, or any other conceivable thing.
Speculation has assumed that the soul is something in the human body capable of living out of the body, and of eating, drinking, feeling, tasting, smelling, thinking, singing, and so forth; and of the same essence as God Himself. In times past some have busied themselves in calculating how many such souls could stand on the point of a needle; a problem, however, which still remains unsolved. A vast deal is said in "sermons" and systems about this idea; about its supposed nature, its wonderful capacity, its infinite value, its immortality, and its destiny. I shall not, however, trouble the reader with it. We have to do with "the law and the testimony;" and as they are altogether silent about such a supposed existence, we shall not occupy our pages in superadding to the obsolete print concerning its attributes, which has already merged into the oblivion of the past. I allude to so much as this, because it is made the foundation cornerstone, as it were, of those experimental systems of spiritual cure, which are so popular with the world, and so utterly exclusive and proscriptive of the divine method.
Upon the supposition of the existence of this kind of a soul in the human body, are based the current notions of heaven, hell, immortality, infant salvation, purgatory, saint-worship, Mariolatry, spiritual millenniumism, metempsychosis, &c., &c. Its existence both in the body and out of the body being assumed, it is assumed also to be immortal. An immortal disembodied existence requires a dwelling place, because something must be somewhere; and, as it is said to be virtuous or vicious according to its supposed life in the body, and post mortem rewards and punishments are affirmed -- this dwelling-place is exhibited as an elysium, or, as an orthodox poet sings, "a place of goblins damn'd." To deter men from crime, and to move them to "get religion" that their souls may be cured of sin, frightful pictures are painted, sometimes on canvas, sometimes on the imagination, and sometimes sculptured on stones, of the crackling and sulphurous flames, hideous devils, and horrid shapes, which fill the Tartarian habitation of the immortal ghosts of wicked men. This destiny of condemned ghosts was a part of the "vain philosophy" of the Greeks and Romans before the advent of Christ. It was intro-
duced into the churches of the saints soon after "God granted repentance to the Gentiles" (Acts xi. 18). But, as the apostles taught the resurrection of the mortal body (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:42-54) the dogmatism of the Greeks was variously modified. Some admitted the resurrection of the dead; but, as it interfered with their hypothesis about souls, they said it was already past (2 Tim. 2:18); and consequently, that "there is no resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor. 15:12). This gentilizing the hope of the gospel filled Paul with zeal, and caused him to pen the fifteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians to counteract its pernicious influence. He wrote to Timothy to put him on his guard against it; and styles the gentilisms, "profane vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called" (1 Tim. 6:20). He exhorts him to shun them, and "not to strive about words to no profit;" for they "would eat as doth a canker" (2 Tim. 2:14, 16, 17).
If there were no other evidence in Paul's writings of inspiration, this prediction would be sufficient to establish it. It has come to pass exactly as he foretold it. The dogma of an immortal soul in mortal sinful flesh has eaten out the marrow and fatness, the flesh and sinew of the doctrine of Christ; and has left behind only an ill-conditioned and ulcerated skeleton of Christianity, whose dry bones rattle in the "winds of doctrine" that are blowing around us, chopping and changing to every point of the compass. The apostles taught two resurrections of the dead; one at "the manifestation of his presence" -- epijaneia thV anton -- EPIPHANEIA tees parousias hautou; (1 Thess. 4:14-17; 2 Epist. 1:7-8; 2:8) the other, at the delivering up of the kingdom to God at the end (Rev. 20:5; 1 Cor. 15:24) of the dispensation of the fulness of times. But this did not suit the theory of the dogmatists. They resolved the first into what they term "a glorious resurrection of spiritual life in the soul;" and the second into a re-union of disembodied ghosts with their old mortalities to be sent back whence they came. In this way they reduce the second resurrection to a very useless and superfluous affair. Their systems send "souls" to their account as soon as death strikes the bodies down. Some torment them in purgatory, or in an intermediate state; others send them direct into unmitigated punishment; while both, after they have suffered for thousands of years before trial and conviction, re-unite them to their bodies; and if it be asked for what purpose? system replies, "to be judged!" Punish souls first and judge them after! This is truly
human, but it is certainly not divine justice. The truth is, that this article of the creed is brought in to defend "orthodoxy" against the imputation of denying the resurrection of the body, which would be a very inconvenient charge in the face of the testimony of God. But this will not avail; for, to believe dogmas that make the resurrection of the mortal body unnecessary and absurd is equivalent to a denial of it. In saying that there was no future resurrection, Paul charged the Corinthians with the mortal sin of repudiating the resurrection of Jesus; "for," said he, "if the dead rise not," as ye say, "then Christ is not raised." Their heresy eat out this truth, which stands or falls with the reality of the "first resurrection" at his coming (verse 23).
The question of "infant salvation" and "non-elect infant damnation," also rests upon the dogma before us. "Orthodoxy" sends some infants to hell and some to heaven; though many "orthodox" persons are getting heartily ashamed of this part of the creed. The apprehension of the damnation of their "immortal souls" on account of "original sin," has given rise to the Romish conceit of the rhantismal regeneration of infants by the Holy Spirit in the scattering of a few drops of water upon the face, and the use of a certain form of words. This has been recently declared to be regenerative of infant souls by an English court of law! This question is actually gravely discussed by bishops, priests, lawyers, and ministers, in the year of grace 1849! So true is it that "great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment" (Job 32:9).
As far as the infant is itself concerned this Romish ceremony is of no importance, for it does it neither good nor harm. In one sense, however, the subject of "the ordinance" is deeply injured. He is indoctrinated by system into the notion that he was truly baptized when rhantismally "regenerated;" and, therefore, when he is grown he troubles himself no more about the matter. Alas, what havoc the apostacy has made with the doctrine of Christ! Believers' baptism transmuted into rhantizing an unconscious babe for the regeneration of its "immortal soul!" Would such a thing ever have been thought of but for the Nicolaitan "oppositions of science," "which," says the Lord Jesus, "I hate?" (Rev.2:6-15). I trow not.
How important then it is that we should have a Scriptural understanding of the constitution of man. If it should appear by an exposition of the truth, that there is no such kind of soul in
the universe as that conceited by the pagan Greeks and Romans, and gentilized into the doctrine of the apostles by contemporary perverters (Gal. 1:7-9) of the gospel, the faith and hope of which it hath ulcerously consumed -- and handed down to us by "orthodox divines" -- and fondled in these times as an essential ingredient of a true faith: -- what becomes of the "cure of souls" by the dogmatical specifics of the day? They are resolved into theological empiricism, which is destined to recede like darkness before the orient brightness of the rising truth.
Let us then endeavour to understand ourselves as God has revealed our nature in His word. On the sixth day, the Elohim gave the word, saying, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." In this word was life, spirit, or energy . "It was God. All things were made by it, and without it was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1-5). Hence, says Elihu, "the Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me Iife;" (Job 33:4) or, as Moses testifies, the Lord God formed man, the dust of the ground, and breathed in to his nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a LIVING SOUL" (Gen. 2:7).
Now, if it be asked, what do the Scriptures define "a living soul" to be? -- the answer is, a living, natural, or animal body, whether of birds, beasts, fish, or men. The phrase living creature is the exact synonym of living soul. The Hebrew words nephesh chayiah are the signs of the ideas expressed by Moses. Nephesh signifies creature, also life, soul, or breathing frame from the verb to breathe: chayiah is of life -- a noun from the verb to live. Nephesh chayiah is the genus which includes all species of living creatures; namely Adam man, beme beast of the field, chitu wild beast, remesh reptile, and ouph fowl, &c. In the common version of the Scriptures, it is rendered living soul; so that under this form of expression the Scriptures speak of "all flesh" which breathes in air, earth, and sea.
Writing about body, the apostle says, "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." But, he does not content himself with simply declaring this truth; he goes further, and proves it by quoting the words of Moses, saying, "for so it is written, the first man Adam was made into a living soul - eiv yucen zwsan;" and then adds, "the last Adam into a spirit giving life, eiV pnenma zwopoioun" (1 Cor. 15:44-5). Hence, in another place, speaking of the latter, he says of him, "now the Lord is the Spirit -- ode kurioV to pnenma eotin. And we all, with unveiled face, behold-
ing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into His image from glory into glory, as by the Lord the Spirit -- apo kurion pnenmatov" (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
The proof of the apostle's proposition that there is a natural body as distinct from a spiritual body, lies in the testimony, that "Adam was made into a living soul;" showing that be considered a natural, or animal body, and a living soul, as one and the same thing. If he did not, then there was no proof in the quotation, of what he affirmed.
A man then is a body of life in the sense of his being an animal, or living creature -- nephesh chayiah adam. As a natural man, he has no other pre-eminence over the creatures God made, than what his peculiar organization confers upon him. Moses makes no distinction between him and them; for he styles them all living souls, breathing the breath of lives. Thus, literally rendered he says, "the Elohim said, the waters shall produce abundantly sherets chayiah nephesh the reptile living soul;" and again, "kal nephesh chayiah erameshat every living soul creeping." In another verse, "let the earth bring forth nephesh chayiah the living soul after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, &c.;" and "lekol rumesh ol earets asher bu nephesh chayiah to every thing creeping upon the earth which (has) in it living breath" (Gen. 1:20, 21, 24, 30), that is, breath of lives. And lastly, "whatsoever Adam called nephesh chayiah (the living soul) that was the name thereof" (Gen. 2:19).
Quadrupeds and men, however, are not only "living souls," but they are vivified by the same breath and spirit. In proof of this, I remark first, that the phrase "breath of life" in the text of the common version is neshemet chayim in the Hebrew; and that, as chayim is in the plural, it should be rendered breath of lives. Secondly, this neshemet chayim is said to be in the inferior creatures as well as in man. Thus, God said, "I bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is ruach chayim spirit of lives" (Gen. 6:17). And in another place, "they went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, in which is ruach chayim spirit of lives." "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing, and every man; all in whose nostrils was neshemet ruach chayim BREATH OF SPIRIT OF LIVES" (Gen. 7:15-22). Now, as I have said, it was the neshemet chayim with which Moses testifies God inflated the nostrils of Adam; if, therefore, this were divine particula aure a particle of the divine essence,
as it is affirmed, which became the "immortal soul" in man, then all other animals have "immortal souls" likewise; for they all received "breath of spirit of lives" in common with man.
From these testimonies, I think, it must be obvious to the most unlearned, that the argument for the existence of an "immortal soul" in "sinful flesh," hereditarily derived from the first sinner, predicated on the inspiration of his nostrils with "the breath of lives" by the Lord God, and the consequent application to him of the phrase "living soul," if admitted as good logic, proves too much, and therefore nothing to the purpose. For if man be proved to be immortal in this sense, and upon such premises as these, then all quadrupeds are similarly immortal; which none, I suppose, but believers in the transmigration of souls, would be disposed to admit.
The original condition of the animal world was "very good." Unperverted by the introduction of evil, all its constituents fulfilled the purposes of their existence. Begotten of the same power, and formed from the substance of a common mother, they were all animated by the same spirit, and lived in peace and harmony together. Formed to be living breathing frames, though of different species, in God they lived, and moved, and had their continued being; and displayed His wisdom, power, and handywork.
But, to return to the philology of our subject, I remark that by a metonomy, or figure of speech in which the container is put for the thing contained, and vice versa, nephesh "breathing frame," is put for neshemet ruach chayim, which, when in motion, the frame respires. Hence nephesh signifies "life," also "breath" and "soul" -- Life, or those mutually affective, positive and negative principles in all living creatures, whose closed circuits cause motion of and in their frames. These principles, or qualities, perhaps, of the same thing, are styled by Moses Ruach Elohim (Gen. 1:2), or Spirit of Him "who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see" (1 Tim. 6:16), and which, when the word was spoken by "the Holy Gods" (Dan. 4:8), first caused a motion upon the waters, and afterwards disengaged the light, evolved the expanse, aggregated the waters, produced vegetation, manifested the celestial universe, vitalized the breathing frames of the dry land, expanse, and seas; and formed man in their image and likeness. This ruach, or spirit, is neither the Uncreated One who dwells in light, the Lord God, nor the Elo-
him, his co-workers, who co-operated in the elaboration of the natural world. It was the instrumental principle by which they executed the commission of the glorious INCREATE to erect this earthly house, and furnish it with living souls of every species.
It is this ruach, or instrumentally formative power, together with the neshemeh or breath, which keeps them all from perishing, or returning to the dust. Thus, "if God set His heart against man, He will withdraw to Himself ruachu veneshemetu, i.e., his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust" (Job 34:14-15). In another place, "by the neshemet el, or breath of God, frost is given" (Job 37:10). Speaking of reptiles and beasts, David saith, "thou withdrawest ruachem, i.e., their spirit -- they die; and to their dust they return. Thou sendest forth ruhech, ie., Thy spirit -- they are created" (Psalm 104:29). And again, "whither shall I fly, meruhech, from Thy spirit" (Psalm 139:7).
From these testimonies it is manifest, that the ruach or spirit is all pervading. It is in heaven, in sheol, or the dust of the deepest hollow, in the uttermost depths of the sea, in the darkness, in the light, and in all things animate, and without life. It is an universal principle in the broadest, or rather, in an illimitable sense. It is the substratum of all motion, whether manifested in the diurnal and ellipsoidal revolutions of the planets, in the flux and reflux of the sea, in the storms and tempests of the expanse, or in the organism of reptiles, cattle, beasts, fish, fowls, vegetables, or men. The atmospheric expanse is charged with it; but it is not the air: plants and animals of all species breathe it; but it is not their breath: yet without it, though filled with air, they would die.
The atmosphere, which extends some forty-five miles in altitude, and encircles the globe, is styled the expanse, by Moses; and the breath of God, in Job. It is a compound body, consisting when pure of nitrogen and oxygen, in the proportion of 79 of the former to 21 of the latter, in 100 parts. These are considered as simple bodies, because they have not yet been decomposed; though it is probable they have a base, which may be ruach. This may exist free or combined with the elementary consituents of the neshemeh. Uncombined, it is that wonderful fluid, whose explosions are heard in the thunder, whose fiery bolts overthrow the loftiest towers, and rive the sturdy monarch of the woods; and in less intensity gives polarity to light, the needle, and the brain. These three together, the oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity,
constitute "the breath" and "spirit" of the lives of all God's living souls.
Thus, from the centre of the earth, and extending throughout all space in every direction, is the Ruach Elohim, the existence of which is demonstrable from the phenomena of the natural system of things. It penetrates where the neshemet el, or atmospheric air, cannot. When speaking, however, of the motivity and sustentation of organized dust, or souls, they are co-existent within them. In this case, the ruach Elohim becomes the ruach chayim, or "spirit of lives;" and the neshemet el, the neshemet chayim, or "breath of lives;" and both combined in the elaboration and support of life, the neshemet ruach chayim, or "breath of the spirit of lives." Living creatures, or souls, are not animated, as physiologists and speculative "divines" erroneously imagine, by "a vital principle," capable of disembodied existence as the ghost of man, or the transmigrating spectres of other animal species; -- ghostly things, the laws and functions of which in the animal economy physiologists are unable to discover; and theologists are nonplussed to prove the existence of from the word of God. On the contrary, "souls" are "made living" by the coetaneous operation of the ruach chayim and the neshemet chayim upon their organized tissues according to certain fixed laws. When the as yet occult laws of the all-pervading ruach, or spirit, shall be known, this subject will be understood; and men will then be as astonished at the ignorance of the "divines," and physiologists of this "cloudy and dark day," respecting "living souls," as we are at the notion of the ancients, that their "immortal gods" resided in the stocks and stones they so stupidly adored. This, however, is quite as reasonable a theory as that of "immortal souls" dwelling in sinners of Adam's race.
The ruach chayim and neshemet chayim are lent to the creatures of the natural world for the appointed period of their living existence. But, though lent to them, they are still God's breath, and God's spirit; nevertheless, to distinguish them from the expanse of air and spirit in their totality, they are sometimes styled, "the spirit of man," and "spirit of the beast;" or collectively, "the spirits of all flesh," and "their breath." Thus, it is written, "they have all one ruach, or spirit; so that man hath no pre-eminence over a beast; for all is vanity or vapour." "All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Eccles. 3:19). And in the sense of supplying to every living creature, or soul, "spirit" and "breath," Jehovah [Yahweh] is styled by Moses,
"God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numb. 27:16).
Besides the ruach and neshemeh without, there are certain elementary principles, in a state of combination, within all living souls, which are related to them by fixed and appropriate laws, for the manifestation of living actions. The light to the eye, and the eye to the light; so also, the breath and the Spirit of God to the constituents of blood, and the blood to them. These, acting and re-acting upon each other in the lungs of all breathing frames, cause that motion throughout their structure which is termed life. The following testimonies will throw some light upon this part of our subject.
"Flesh, be-nephesh-u, with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." This teaches that blood is the nephesh, or life of the flesh; hence it continues, "and surely your blood, lah-nephesh-tikam, for your Iives will I require" (Gen. 9:5). We often find life put for blood, and blood for life, as elsewhere in the context. " Be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the nephesh, or life; and thou mayest not eat the life, nephesh, with the flesh" (Deut. 12:23). But, to this it might be objected, that if the blood be the life, then so long as it is in the body it ought to live; on the contrary it dies with the blood in it. True. Moses, however, does not teach the dogma of an abstract vital principle; but life, the result and consequence of the decomposition and re-combination of the elements of certain compounds. The blood abstractly considered is not life; yet relatively, it is "the life of the flesh." The following testimony will show the sense in which the phrase "the blood is the life" is used. "I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood. For the life of the flesh is IN the blood itself. I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for nephesh-tikem your lives: for it is the blood that atones be-nephesh for the soul "or life. "Whosoever catcheth any fowl that may be eaten, he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof. Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof" (Lev. 17:11). Nothing can be plainer than this.
There are three kinds of living manifestations, which are characterized by the nature of the organization, or being, through which they occur. Hence, we have vegetable life, animal life, and incorruptible life. The last is immortality; because the body through which the life is manifested being incorruptible, never wears out; so that being once put into motion by the Spirit of God, it lives
for ever. Vegetable and animal life, on the contrary, are terminable or mortal; because the materials through which it is revealed are perishably organized. Mortality, then, is life manifested through a corruptible body; and immortality, life manifested through an incorruptible body. Hence, the necessity laid down in the saying of the apostle, "this corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality," before death can be "swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:53-54). This doctrine of "life and incorruptibility" (zwh kai ajqarsia) was new to the Greeks and Romans; and brought to light only through the gospel of the kingdom and name of Jesus Christ. It was to them foolishness; and is to the moderns incredible, because they understand not the glad tidings of the age to come.
Incorruptible life might, with equal propriety, be styled spiritual life as indicative of that with which spiritual bodies are endowed. But here I use not the word spiritual, lest it should be confounded with that intellectual and moral life a man possesses when the "incorruptible seed" of the kingdom takes root in his heart; and when, in "the obedience of faith," he passes from under the sentence of death to the sentence of justification unto life eternal. But, at present, we have to do with animal or natural life, which is all the life the fleshly sons of the first Adam can boast of. Enough, however, I think, has been advanced to show the Scriptural import of the text already quoted, that "the Lord God formed man, the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a living soul." The simple, obvious, and undogmatic meaning of this, is, that the dust was first formed into "clay," which was then modelled by Jehovah [Yahweh] Elohim into the form of the soul called "man," as a potter shapes the substance of his vessels. Thus, Elihu said to Job, "I also am formed out of the clay" (Job 33:6) ; and again, "we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand " (Isaiah 64:8). The fashioning of the clay being accomplished in all its component parts, which in the aggregate constitute man; that is, the dust being animalized, and then organized, the next thing was to set all the parts of this exquisite mechanism into motion. This was effected by the inrush of the air through his nostrils into his lungs according to the natural laws. This phenomenon was the neshemet el, or "breath of God," breathing into him; and as it was the pabulum of life to all creatures formed from the dust, it is very expressively styled "the breath of lives" in the plural number. Some imagine that Jehovah [Yahweh]
Chapter 2 - Part 2